Eating Local & Urban Gardening Speaker coming to IUPUI Sept. 28th

Lisa Heldke

Department of Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College

Monday 28 September 2009 @ IUPUI

Cultivating Cosmic Patriotism by Cultivating Cosmos:
Urban Gardening and the Creation of Community (pdf)

Discussion: 3:00 PM-4:15 PM

IUPUI, Cavanaugh Hall 411

425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202

This essay considers urban gardening as an important contemporary setting in which to cultivate what Jane Addams calls “cosmic patriotism,” an alternative to the patriotism of the tribe, and a form of patriotism characterized by a commitment to multiculturalism, humanitarianism, and internationalism. Community gardens, “guerilla gardens,” and other collective, urban agricultural ventures offer the very sorts of urban settings Addams argued were crucial for the nurturance of such patriotism: a pleasurable, or recreational setting in which city residents could share their knowledge and culture with each other in a spirit of play and openness. Heldke will discuss these issues in an informal afternoon session.

Staying Home For Dinner:
Ruminations on Local Foods in a Cosmopolitan Society (pdf)

Reception: 6:00 PM

(Hors d’oeuvres provided by Certified Healing Food Specialists, Mark Cox & Chef Joshua Henson, of Fermenti Artisan)

Lecture: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM

RSVP appreciated by Sunday, September 27 to

Lilly Auditorium

On lower level of IUPUI University Library

755 W Michigan St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

(Parking is available at the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St. Bring your ticket to the event for a free validation stamp)

Reflecting on the decision to eat locally produced food suggests that ethical decisions cannot be cast as individual choices between two clear alternatives. When we seek morally unambiguous choices, we focus our ethical energies in the wrong place. The moral focus of our ethical decision-making should fall on building communities because the importance of any choice we make lies in the relationships that give our choices context. Food is an especially rich intersection of relations and so provides many opportunities to reflect, connect, and imagine more democratic communities. Recognizing these opportunities leads us to see ourselves not as food consumers but as food citizens who seek to enact and transform our relations through not only our purchasing and eating choices but also through our collective work in organizations that promote healthy, just, fair, safe, and delicious food systems for all people.


Professor Heldke’s areas of research include American Philosophy, Philosophy of Food, and Feminist Philosophy. She is also concerned with the nature of justice, oppression and resistance, and human liberation, particularly in connection with racism, sexism and heterosexism. She is the co-editor of Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food, a collection of writings about the philosophy of food; and The Atkins Diet and Philosophy, part of a series of books that explores popular culture using philosophy. She is the author of Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer in which she examines the colonialist attitudes that persist in common approaches to foreign cuisine.


This event is supported by the Department of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, and American Studies Program of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and by the IUPUI 40th Anniversary Speakers Fund. Additional support provided by Indy Food Co-op, Indy Winter Farmers Market, Slow Food Indy, and Indy Tilth/Urban Farming Forum.


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